Tag Archives: Leicester

Welcome to Caro Hart – Chief Executive of LASS

It is strange coming into a new organisation; new people, new ways of doing things. At the Michael Wood Centre, however, I felt immediately at home.

This was partly because of the way I was recruited; once I had passed the interview with the Trustees, I was invited to the annual LASS and Well for Living planning day. I met staff, trustees, service users and people from other organisations that work closely with LASS and Well for Living. All of them were scoring me on how well I did in the discussions and exercises. Scary stuff! But even then, I saw how welcoming everyone was and how much everyone cared about delivering excellent services to the community.

Going into a new place you always wonder if you’ll fit in. I think it will be a good match as my background is in charity management, including running a Citizens Advice Bureau. I have worked with older peoples’ charities, been Chair of a Healthwatch Stakeholder Panel, worked for an environmental charity and lead a charity working with international students (useful in this neck of the woods!).

For the last few years, I have been running my own community interest company, working with small to medium sized voluntary sector and community groups helping them to get volunteers, funding and other resources and to manage and govern themselves effectively. All of this is going to come in very handy at LASS and Well for Living.

Originally from Hertfordshire, I have lived and worked at various points around the UK. I now live on the Leicestershire-Rutland Border and I am fast growing to appreciate the vibrancy of the City and the beauty of the countryside. I might even land up a Tigers supporter!

Jenny, the outgoing CEO, and the teams at both LASS and Well for Living have made me feel so welcome. I hope that we can have a long a fruitful relationship.

 

Jenny Hand – LASS CEO due to retire from LASS next week.

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Jenny Hand LASS CEO since 2008

Jenny Hand has been the CEO at LASS, Leicestershire’s HIV specialist charity for almost 10 years and will retire in June this year . With Jenny at the helm, LASS has moved forward with the changes in HIV medication and support, advice, information, prevention and awareness needs. In 2013 LASS was recognised best 10 health charities in the country with a £30,000 Impact Award from GSK with the Kings Fund. LASS continues to benefit from being a member of the Impact Award alumni attending Kings Fund training with other Award winners and taking part in research and reviews.

LASS was among the first charities in the Country to introduce free instant result HIV community testing, demonstrating huge savings for the health service through enabling people to know their HIV status and be referred for appropriate support and medical treatment through a fast track arrangement.

LASS also set up a social enterprise – trading as Well for Living and through this has worked in partnership with other small local HIV services in the region to provide enhanced awareness and prevention services. Most recently the regional partnership has delivered a public health England funded innovation project promoting HIV testing in the workplace. A full report on this pioneering work is due to be released this spring. Jenny says ‘the findings are very encouraging not only for HIV but for other workplace health awareness developments.’

Patrick Bowe, Chair of the trustees at LASS, is immensely proud of the work achieved at LASS over the past 10 years and while he would have hoped Jenny might stay for a few more years sees this as an opportunity for LASS to recruit a new CEO  who will be able to lead both LASS and Well for Living into the future.  ‘LASS will enter its 30th year in June and there is still a huge amount of work to do before people living with HIV can live without stigma and discrimination and to ensure late diagnosis is prevented. The CEO’s role will be critical in taking forward the organisation.’

Jenny is looking forward to continuing some part time work focussing on partnerships and in supporting organisations through bid writing.  She will have more time with her family and for holidays and travel.  She enjoys playing cello in local orchestras, walking, and playing bridge.  You may even find her volunteering in the local community when she retires.

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Leicester’s new A&E / ED department

Today at 7pm the Balmoral Building at LRI (main entrance) will close permanently so access to A&E/Balmoral will not be possible.

Here’s a new map of the LRI site, with directions to both Adult & Children’s ED.

You can see the new department online at Leicester Mercury.

Watch: First look around Leicester’s £48 million emergency department

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/here-is-a-first-look-at-leicester-s-48-million-emergency-department/story-30288394-detail/story.html

New £48 million emergency department in Leicester opens its doors to patients – live updates

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/new-48-million-emergency-department-in-leicester-opens-its-doors-to-patients-live-updates/story-30294786-detail/story.html

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Thank You to HRH Prince Harry & LASS Partner Organisations

HRH Prince Harry with Salma Ravat & Nadine Coogan (Photo: Tom Robson @tjrfoto)

Partner organisations joined LASS in a training session led by Juliet Kisob and Sadiya Mohamed.  They looked at the role of community HIV testing in encouraging people to know their HIV status and to help reduce late diagnosis.

CEO Jenny Hand introduces HRH Prince Harry to Sadiya Mohamed & Juliet Kisob. (Photo: Tom Robson @tjrfoto)

They were joined by HRH Prince Harry for workshops where they used a case study to look at how critical partnerships are to breaking down stigma and to identify new places for LASS to test in our 30th year. In Leicester 59% of patients are diagnosed late, which is 20% higher than the national average.

HRH Prince Harry unveils a unveiled a plaque marking the start of LASS’s 30th year. With Evernice Tirivanhu, Jenny Hand & David Rowlands (Photo/Animation: Tom Robson @tjrfoto)

Prince Harry unveiled a plaque marking his visit and 30 years of LASS. He invited trustee Evernice Tirivanhu to assist him She said: “It’s quite a special day for us.
“People living with HIV have to fight a lot of stigma, and to find that members of the royal family are willing to come and support the charity is very encouraging.”
Prince Harry’s visit came as the National AIDS Trust reported “an alarming trend for cutting or completely decommissioning HIV support services across England and Wales”.

LASS has been absolutely delighted to welcome partner organisations yesterday.  By working together we demonstrate unity within the voluntary sector and strengthen the approach of social care, support and advocacy across Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and the East Midlands.

You can find coverage of Prince Harry’s visit to LASS, and other Leicester Projects from the following news outlets.  Photographs from the training session are in the gallery below.

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Appointment of Chief Executive

LASS was recognised as one of the best health charities in the Country by the Kings Fund with GSK, gaining an Impact Award in 2013.  We are an independent, non-profit organisation providing information, advice, support and advocacy services for people who are living with or affected by HIV.  A large part of our work is also raising awareness about HIV, providing training, workshops, free confidential HIV testing in community settings. We work in partnership with other agencies to challenge stigma and discrimination.    The services we provide aim to improve people’s health and well-being, ultimately helping them to live life to its fullest and contribute to the prosperity of their communities.

LASS now seeks to appoint an exceptional Chief Executive to continue the successful delivery of our services whilst further developing the charity and its social enterprise ‘Well for Living’.  The Chief Executive will be expected to provide both strategic and operational leadership of both our charity and our social enterprise, working effectively with funders, local government and leading a passionate, dynamic team of staff and volunteers.

We are looking for a successful visionary leader who can combine excellent strategic and functional delivery with a natural ability to empathise and work directly with vulnerable adults.  With proven income generation and business development experience, your leadership will ensure LASS and Well for Living’s services are sustainable and of the highest quality, and your inspirational style and personal credibility will help to leverage our profile, networks and connections even further.

Critical to your success will be a genuine passion for equality and making a difference to the wider community as well as a commitment to developing a long standing charity which aims to be a leader in its field.

To learn more about this unique opportunity, download the Job Description with Person Specification and application form  and  return by post or email as specified on the application form.

  • Closing date for applications: 24th February 2017
  • Interviews and presentations:  First stage 9th or 10th March 2017.
  • Final stage: Saturday 18 March and Friday 24th March.

Healthcare Christmas Opening Times throughout Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

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At the time of year when the entire health system comes under increased pressure, people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being reminded to choose the right health service if they or a member of their family begin to feel unwell this winter.

All GP practices across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will be open until Friday 23rd December. Practices will re-open on the 28th December with normal service as well as 29th and 30th December, between Christmas and New Year. Practices will re- open again on Tuesday January 2, 2017. Where some practices in the city would normally close at lunch time on the Thursday before Christmas, in this case 22nd December, practices will be remaining open for the full duration of the day to provide more appointments to patients before Christmas.

In addition the following practices in the city will be opening on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve for their own patients only:

GP Practice Date Times
Parker Drive

Manor Medical Centre

Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.00am – 1.00pm

8.00am – 1.00pm

Merridale Medical Centre Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.30am – 12.30pm
The Practice, Beaumont Leys Saturday 24 December

Saturday 31 December

8.00am – 10.00am

Healthcare Hubs Over Christmas

Patients can get an appointment with a GP or an advanced nurse practitioner at one of the hubs everyday over the holiday period, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Patients that are registered with any Leicester City GP practice can use the Westcotes hub from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, or the Belgrave and Saffron hubs, which open weekdays 6.30pm to 10pm and on weekends and bank holidays 12 noon to 8pm.

Healthcare Hub Address
Westcotes Medical Practice Westcotes Health Centre,
Fosse Road South, Leicester, LE3 0LP.
Brandon Street Surgery Belgrave Health Centre,
52 Brandon Street, Leicester, LE4 6AW.
Saffron Surgery 612 Saffron Lane, Leicester, LE2 6TD.

Appointments can be made by calling 0116 366 0560 or NHS 111 from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week. It is the same number for all the hubs, which are located in three areas of the city. More information on the hub opening times can be found here: https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/find-a-service/healthcare-hubs/.

The three CCGs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland want to ensure that people who need healthcare over the Christmas and New Year holidays are able to find the right service for their needs.

Anyone who needs immediate medical attention should call NHS 111, unless it is a life threatening emergency. Trained call handlers will assess any symptoms and direct patients to the most appropriate source of care.

Patients can also visit walk-in and urgent care centres across the city and county which offer quick, professional healthcare and can treat minor burns, cuts and wounds, infections and rashes, as well as stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Merlyn Vaz Walk in Centre
Spinney Hill Road
Leicester
LE5 3GH
Tel: 0116 242 9450
Open: Daily 8am – 8pm

Leicester Urgent Care Centre
Balmoral Building
Infirmary Close
Leicester
LE1 5WW
Tel: via the NHS 111 service
Open: 24 hours a day, every day

Urgent Care Centre Loughborough
Loughborough Hospital
Urgent Care Centre
Hospital Way
Loughborough
LE11 5JY
Tel: 01509 568800
Open: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Market Harborough District Hospital
58 Coventry Road
Market Harborough
LE16 9DD
Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Melton Mowbray Hospital
Thorpe Road
Melton Mowbray, LE13 1SJ
Open Monday to Friday 5pm to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Oadby Urgent Care Centre
18 The Parade
Oadby, LE2 5BJ
Open 8am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am to 8pm
Bank holidays 8am to 8pm 

Rutland Memorial Hospital
Cold Overton Road
Oakham
Rutland, LE15 6NT
Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm
Open bank holidays 9am to 7pm

Professor Azhar Farooqi, a GP and Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group speaking on behalf of the three CCGs, said:  “There are many health services available across the city and county. If you feel unwell but not sure which health service to use, call NHS111 whose trained call handlers can give you the right advice.

“Don’t forget your local pharmacy if you have a minor illness over the holidays. They can provide health advice and over the counter medicines conveniently in everyone’s local community.

“It is also important to remember that if you are very poorly, particularly if you are older or have a long term health condition, not to delay seeking treatment or advice. Often at this time of year people don’t want to bother busy services, but we would rather you did seek help to avoid your condition becoming very serious and you need to be admitted to hospital.”

Details of local pharmacy opening times over the Christmas and New Year holidays are available at

https://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/find-a-service/which-service-is-best/your-local-pharmacy/.

LASS SEASONAL OPENING TIMES

We are closed throughout Christmas and New Year.  Our office closes this Friday, (23rd December).  We re-open on Tuesday, 3rd January 2017

EMERGENCIES

There are a number of places that you can turn to for HIV/AIDS related help and advice.  The following web page lists services and support available for HIV, AIDS and sexual health in Leicester and Leicestershire  http://www.leicestersexualhealth.nhs.uk/getting-tested-and-clinics/clinics/

PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)

PEP is a course of HIV medication which you can take if you have been at risk of HIV infection. The course of HIV medication lasts 28 days and, if you start taking it within 72 hours of putting yourself at risk, it may be able to prevent you from becoming infected with HIV.  Further information on PEP can be found from the following link: http://www.aidsmap.com/Post-exposure-prophylaxis-PEP/page/1044883/

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It isn’t going away!!

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The story of how LASS has responded to the challenge of HIV and AIDS was featured at this year’s East Midlands Oral History Day at Nottingham Library.

Tim Burke, who helped run our 25th anniversary history project in 2014, spoke to the conference about how the project got off the ground and about the interviews with volunteers and staff past and present that resulted in our publication “…and it won’t go away”.

He also read some extracts from the book that showed how LASS volunteers over the years have supported people living with AIDS/HIV.

“There was a great deal of interest from conference participants and they snapped some of the few remaining copies of the book,” said Tim.

“It was something of honour to be asked to contribute to the conference and I hope it will have further raised awareness of the significance of LASS’s work since 1987.”

This year’s event had a theme of oral history and health and LASS’s project was featured alongside other oral history projects ranging from working at Boot’s the Chemist to the medicinal use of cannabis and people’s experiences of life in and out of mental hospitals.

For more, and for your own copy of “…and it won’t go away”. Read the following article:

“…and it won’t go away.” 25 Years of Leicestershire AIDS Support Services

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